AKIM-Jerusalem, a voluntary, a-political, non-profit association, administered by parents and other representatives of the general public, that provides services to persons with intellectual disabilities of all ages and levels of functioning.
Although part of their care is funded by the Ministry of Welfare, leisure time activities, further education and specialized para-medical services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, etc., are not covered in full by the government. The costs for new construction and renovation of buildings and for equipment acquisition are also, at best, partially covered for by the government. As a consequence AKIM-Jerusalem must raise extra-budgetary money for these services from outside sources.
AKIM-Jerusalem’s Family Support Center includes a Respite Care program to which children come for anything from a few hours to several days at a time, thus giving their families a chance to “re-charge their batteries”. For those families who cannot send their children out to the Respite Center, we provide Home Care support of at least two hours a week. This service allows quality, one-on-one time with the member of the family who has mental disabilities by care-providers trained, supervised and monitored by a senior professional representative of AKIM-Jerusalem.
The association also runs two extended school day programs at the Ben Yehuda School of Special Education and a third at its Respite Care Center. The children that attend these programs are aged 10-14 with medium to serious mental disabilities. Several of the children in the group also have autism and all have severe behavioral problems. For the parents of these children private care is usually well beyond their means and there are very few options run by the State if they want to work a full-day. The aim of this project is to give these children a rich and diversified leisure curriculum, which encourages mental, emotional and physical development. The program is open five days a week from 2-6 p.m. and includes different workshops on such topics as: arts and crafts, caring for pets, games, singing and movement, all of which are designed as enrichment experiences for the children.
Other projects run by the Family Support Center include Job Opportunity Advice service and Family Counseling Services.